Motorhome / Campervan rental in Ireland can be both stressful and costly.
Similar to renting a car in Ireland, the optional extras and the jargon-packed rental insurance can be very confusing.
In this guide, we’ll tell you the key things to be aware of (they’ll save you time and cash) along with the most popular campervan rental companies in Ireland.
Some quick need-to-knows before you rent a campervan in Ireland
The points below will get you up-to-speed on motorhome rental in Ireland, so take 30 seconds to scan them before continuing on:
1. Separate romance from reality
When you think of renting a campervan in Ireland, you probably envision yourself rocking up to a gorgeous location in the middle of nowhere and calling it a night, maybe with a barbecue and a beer, before sleeping under the stars. This all sounds wonderful, but the reality can be quite different.
The first thing is the cost. People often imagine they’ll save money by renting a motorhome in Ireland, but that’s not always the case. Next is the claustrophobia. Have you ever lived in a small space for longer than a day or two? Even the closest couples and families can find it suffocating at times, especially if it’s raining and you’ve no choice but to stay in the van!
Before you go for it, make sure you’ve set realistic expectations. Otherwise it can be an expensive mistake to make!
2. Rental insurance can be your downfall
It’s essential that you get the right type of insurance for campervan rental in Ireland. Getting it wrong can prove to be an expensive mistake if you’re involved in an accident. The most basic insurance normally only covers you for third party damage, so it’s worth upgrading.
This will cost more day by day, but it could save you hundreds or even thousands of Euros in the long run. We’ll take a closer look at campervan rental insurance in a little bit.
3. Time of year impacts price
You can save over €100 per day in rental fees depending on when you rent your campervan. Summer months are obviously the most expensive, but if you plan your trip for the shoulder seasons, you’ll find that the daily fee is drastically reduced.
The weather might not be so fine, but then again, you might get lucky and enjoy a sunny spring or balmy Autumn.
4. There are key driver requirements
Motorhome rental in Ireland is dependant on a few key requirements. Each rental provider has slightly different conditions, but for the most part, you’ll need to be 25 or over and hold a full, valid licence. We’ll take a closer look at the full requirements below.
5. Understanding the Ts and Cs is crucial
Before you complete your booking it’s absolutely essential that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the rental agreement. Like anything, don’t agree to a legally binding contract if you don’t know exactly what you’re signing up for. Fortunately, you can go through the documents well in advance.
6. Large deposits are the norm
When you book your campervan rental in Ireland, you’ll be required to pay a fairly substantial security deposit, which is typically calculated based on the level of insurance you’ve taken out. This can often be as much as €2,000 for basic insurance policies, but it can normally be reduced by purchasing a more comprehensive policy.
Steps to consider before looking at motorhome rental in Ireland
Before you rent a campervan in Ireland, it’s worth running through the 6 steps below.
Some are obvious but the are several that people tend to overlook when thinking about motorhome rental in Ireland.
Step 1: Ask yourself these two questions
Before you go ahead and book your campervan rental in Ireland, it’s well worth asking yourself the following questions to make sure if it’s the right choice for you:
1. Is it going to be practical?
Renting a campervan in Ireland might sound romantic, but the practicalities of it are another matter. First of all, if you’ve never driven a campervan, or even a van, before, do you really want to be doing it on unfamiliar, often narrow roads?
Secondly, if you’re driving in Ireland for the first time, it’s worth noting that it can be a massively different experience compared to driving in the U.S. or other countries.
Another thing to think about is whether you’ll even be able to use a camper to explore the places you want to see. For example, there are parts of the Antrim Coast, like the Torr Head scenic route, that are closed to campervans.
2. Does it make sense financially?
Travelling by camper does offer a great sense of freedom and if that’s your main motivation, that’s fair enough.
However, a lot of people think about renting a campervan in Ireland because they believe it’ll work out cheaper than renting a car and staying in traditional accommodation.
Below, you’ll find 2 examples to illustrate a rough overview of motorhome rental in Ireland vs other options:
Example 1: Renting a campervan vs a car & traditional accommodation for 2 weeks in March (2 people)
- Campervan rental* = €1,860.01
- Car rental and budget accommodation = €1,524 – €2,350
- Car rental and mid-range accommodation = €2,350 – €3,890
Example 2: Renting a campervan vs a car & traditional accommodation for 2 weeks in September (2 people)
- Campervan rental* = €2,463.85
- Car rental and budget accommodation = €1,224 – €2,050
- Car rental and mid-range accommodation = €2,330 – €3,590
* It’s worth bearing in mind that this quote is just for a basic rental with standard insurance and no extras. The actual price is likely to be higher.
Additionally, the price doesn’t include the cost of staying in a campsite each night, bearing in mind that it’s not always possible to wild camp. The above figures are based on two people.
Step 2: Check if you meet the rental requirements
Once you’ve decided that renting a campervan in Ireland makes the most sense for you, you’ll need to check that you meet the rental requirements.
This does differ depending on the rental company, so be sure to check with your provider before you complete your booking. The most common requirements are age and driving licence.
1. You normally need to be over 25
Having said that, there are some companies that have a minimum age of 21. However, you’ll normally need to pay a nightly young driver’s fee. Many companies also have a maximum age limit, typically 75 or 80.
If you’re above the maximum age limit, they might not turn you down outright, but there’s a good chance you’ll need to pass certain medical tests before you’ll be given a campervan rental in Ireland.
2. You need a valid driving licence
You don’t need a special type of driving licence for motorhome rental in Ireland, a standard full car drivers licence (B Licence) will do. Licences issued in the UK or in any EU or EEA member state can be used in Ireland indefinitely.
Meanwhile, licences issued elsewhere generally enable you to drive for up to a year. If your licence doesn’t have an English translation, you’ll normally need to obtain an International Driving Permit.
Step 3: The 4 key things to know about insurance
Many people understandably get stuck on the insurance side of campervan rental in Ireland
Campervan rental insurance can be tricky to understand at first glance, but it’s essential to get your head round it if you want to avoid losing thousands of euros in the event of an accident.
Different companies tend to present insurance in different ways, and they all typically have various options to choose from. Here’s what you need to know.
1. What insurers offer differs, so be vigilant
Like insuring your own vehicle, you can typically choose from basic third-party insurance, fire and theft protection, and fully comprehensive.
However, it really depends on the provider which type of insurance they’ll offer. Some seem to only offer third-party, which puts you at a pretty high risk.
If you can, pay extra for fully comprehensive (CDW) coverage. This way, you’ll be protected for major, and in many cases minor, damage to the camper.
2. If only basic coverage is offered it usually results in a huge deposit
If you choose to stick with basic coverage for your motorhome rental in Ireland, you’ll normally have to pay a large security deposit. Generally, it’s around €2000, which is held for 28 days.
Even though it’s refundable, this can make the cost of a trip to Ireland skyrocket. The security deposit is essentially the excess you’ll be required to pay towards repairing any damage you’re responsible for.
So, by purchasing a more comprehensive insurance policy, you can generally reduce the security deposit.
3. Daily rates can reduce the liability but read the small print
Depending on which of the campervan rental companies in Ireland you choose, you can normally opt to pay a daily rate to reduce your excess/liability, often down to as little as €250.
There will be different packages available from different companies, but you can typically expect to pay a daily rate of anywhere between €30 and €70. Not only does this reduce your excess, but it also adds extra protection.
But, be sure to check the small print to see exactly what you’re covered for. Even the most comprehensive policies won’t offer 100% protection.
4. Check, check and check again
I know it might sound like we’re going over the top here, but the insurance side of campervan rental in Ireland can be very confusing, and each provider differs slightly.
So, if in doubt, ring ’em up and ask. Don’t book until you’re 100% confident in what you’re agreeing to.
Step 4: Check what is and isn’t included
When you rent a campervan in Ireland, the original quote you see will be the most basic setup. As you proceed through the booking process, you’ll get the opportunity to add insurance, as well as a number of additional extras.
Often, it depends on the company as to which things come as standard and which are additional extras. For example, some rental companies will include bed linen and towels in their basic price, while others will list it as an optional extra.
The cost of the extras on a campervan rental in Ireland can soon creep up, with everything from additional drivers and child booster seats to BBQ rentals and outdoor furniture on offer.
Be sure to check what is included as standard and add the extras you need.
Step 5: Be crystal clear about the Ts&Cs BEFORE signing
When you go to collect your motorhome rental in Ireland, you’ll be required to sign a rental agreement and other documents before you get the keys.
All of the various campervan rental companies in Ireland have these documents uploaded online, so you can read through them thoroughly in advance.
It’s well worth doing this and making sure that all the terms and conditions are crystal clear. That way, you can see if there will be any extra costs or hidden fees to be paid at the counter.
If there’s anything you don’t understand or something you’re not happy with, you can get in touch with the provider for clarity.
What you don’t want to be doing is reading this paperwork for the first time when you pick your camper up.
Step 6: Check the camper thoroughly before driving off
After sorting out the paperwork, you’ll be introduced to your vehicle and home for the duration of your trip. Normally, a representative from the rental company will give you a diagram of the vehicle that describes any existing damage.
Be sure to take a good look inside and out and check that all the cosmetic damage matches up with the diagram. If anything is missing, bring it to the attention of the rep.
Also, take time to test the functionality of the appliances inside, such as the cooker, heating system, and shower. You want to be sure that everything works as it should before you set off and that there’s nothing missing.
We’d recommend taking photos or a video of the damage inside and out and saving it on your phone.
That way, you’ll have time stamped proof of the pre-existing damage, so that if you get blamed for a scratch or a crack when you return the camper, you can whip out your phone and clear your name.
Campervan rental companies in Ireland
There are a number of campervan rental companies in Ireland to choose from. Here are some of the most popular.
1. Lazy Days VW Camper Hire
Lazy Days are one of the more popular campervan rental companies in Ireland and they specialise in compact VW campers.
They provide all you need for camping and offer fully comprehensive insurance as standard.
With a pick up point in Wicklow Town, they’re ideally located to explore some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.
2. West Coast Campervans
This family-run campervan rental company offers pick up points at Dublin Airport, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, and Newry in Northern Ireland.
Their fleet offers a mix of modern 2,4, and 6 berth campers, as well as some vintage-style VWs. Friendly and flexible, their website is easy to use and understand, with a variety of optional extras at decent prices.
3. Bunk Campers
Bunk Campers have pick up points in Belfast and Dublin making them an ideal choice for an Irish road trip.
They boast some extremely affordable and compact options that are perfect for couples, as well as larger motorhomes to house the entire family.
ith fabulous extras at fair prices, they even accommodate young drivers (21-24). Pet friendly and with options for fully comprehensive insurance (CDW), they’re hard to beat.
Road trips to take in your camper
Once you’ve got your campervan rental in Ireland sorted, you’re going to want to drive it somewhere! Ireland is packed full of vibrant towns, rustic villages, historic sites, and exciting attractions to explore at every turn.
Not only that, but simply driving through the gorgeous countryside is bliss!
If you’re in planning mode, find ready-made itineraries in our Road Trip Hub. Here are some other popular road trip guides:
- Planning a trip to Ireland (foolproof 11-step process)
- The best time of year to visit Ireland (each month compared)
FAQs about campervans rental Ireland
We’ve had endless emails over the years from people looking to rent a campervan in Ireland.
Here are the most FAQs that we’ve received. Feel free to ask anything else in the comments section.
How much does it cost to rent a campervan in Ireland?
The cost of renting a campervan in Ireland varies massively. For example, 2 weeks in March for 2 people costs around €1,860.01 vs €2,463.85 in September.
What licence do I need to drive a campervan in Ireland?
You don’t need a special type of driving licence for motorhome rental in Ireland – a standard full drivers licence (B Licence) will do.
Can you sleep anywhere in a campervan in Ireland?
No. There are a lot of restrictions around where you can park a camper in Ireland. Some people ignore these (e.g. at Keem Bay) regardless of the ‘No Camp’ signs.
Is Ireland campervan friendly?
Yes and no. There are some excellent camp sites in Ireland with great camper facilities. There are also many places where finding a place to wild camp can be tough, so there are pros and cons to renting a campervan in Ireland.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.